Bulgaria’s Parliament sets up ad hoc committee to investigate Belene nuclear power station project

Written by on October 19, 2016 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Bulgaria’s Parliament sets up ad hoc committee to investigate Belene nuclear power station project
Belene nuclear plant site, screengrab from Bulgarian National Television

Bulgaria’s Parliament has voted to set up an ad hoc committee, headed by nationalist minority coalition Patriotic Front co-leader Valeri Simeonov, to investigate all “data, facts and circumstances” regarding decision-making and actions about the Belene nuclear power station project between 2006 and the end of September 2016.

The Belene project, first proposed at the time of Bulgaria’s communist regime more than three decades ago, was called off at the time of the first Boiko Borissov government in 2013. One of the main reasons for the decision was a lack of clarity over the financial parameters of the project.

Belene returned to the headlines on a large scale in June 2016 when the Geneva-based arbitration court ordered Bulgaria to pay 553 million euro to Atomstroyexport, Russia’s nuclear power equipment monopoly, for equipment that the company had produced for Belene.

The setting up of the ad hoc committee was proposed by Borissov’s GERB party, its centre-right coalition partner the Reformist Bloc, and the Patriotic Front. It got qualified support from socialist splinter party ABC and was opposed by the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms.

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